Love your pipes

We want you to enjoy living in your home and are committed to making sure it’s safe, secure and that the plumbing works correctly. There are some things that you can do too, particularly when it comes to drainage. Below is some handy advice to help you ‘love your pipes’.

Make sure you only flush loo roll down your toilet. Wet wipes are often made of different fabrics, including polyester, and those take time to break down and can cause blockages in your pipes. They lurk in pipes and merge with fat to create huge rock hard ‘fatbergs’. Although manufacturers say they are flushable, we recommend that you do not flush them, but bin them instead. Only use loo roll in your toilet

Here’s a list of things you should never flush down your toilet or pour down your drains:

  • Fat and oil
  • Wet wipes (including baby wipes, toilet wipes and make-up removal wipes)
  • Nappies
  • Sanitary towels and tampons
  • Cotton buds
  • Kitchen roll
  • Food waste
  • Condoms
  • Dental floss
  • Plasters and bandages
  • Tights and other clothing
  • Incontinence products
  • Plastic toilet cleaner holders.

We have a series of ‘fix-it’ videos that provide some helpful tips on how to unblock sinks and toilets. Visit our fix-it page for more information.

Keep your drains clear

Keep your showers, baths and wash basins clear of hair, soap and mineral build-up. This can be done by regularly checking the drains to make sure that they are clear and that water is flowing freely. Use a flashlight to look down the drain. Most clogs are caused by hair. If the hair is sitting near the surface, remove it with your fingers.

You can also attempt to clear the clog with homemade, natural drain cleaner before trying harsher chemical drain cleaners.

Here’s a recipe for a simple homemade baking soda and vinegar drain cleaner:

  • Pour 3/4 cup (292g) of baking soda down the shower drain.
  • Pour 1/2 cup (118ml) of distilled white vinegar down the drain.
  • Plug the drain with a rubber stopper while the chemical reaction takes place. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
  • Boil a kettle of water. Use approximately 2 to 4 cups (0.5 to 1l).
  • Remove the stopper. Pour the contents of the kettle down the shower drain at once. The water should remove the clog.

Remember most shower clogs are made of hair, which can be loosened and pulled up. If your drain does get blocked, we ask that you try to unclog it yourself before calling us.

Don’t pour cooking fat down the sink

Don’t pour cooking fat or oil down your drains. It can harden and cause blockages. Instead, pour the fat into a separate container, let it cool and harden and then dispose of properly. Running the hot tap and pouring washing up liquid down the sink won’t prevent fats or oils from blocking your pipes.

If you can’t sort the issue yourself, you may report a repair to us in the usual way, using My Account or by contacting our Customer Service Centre at info@orbit.org.uk or 0800 678 1221.

Dispose of hazardous waste safely

Chemicals, solvents, engine oil and paint should be taken to your local refuse or recycling site. Medicines, tablets, syringes and needles should be taken to your pharmacist, hospital or health authority for safe disposal.

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